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Mary and Grace in Paris: ECSS Paris 2023

Bonjour! You might be waiting for Emily in Paris Season 4 on Netflix but in the meantime the SPRINT Project brings you Mary and Grace in Paris!

The SPRINT Project’s Dr Mary Quinton and Dr Grace Tidmarsh spent a few days earlier this month at the European College of Sports Science (ECSS) Congress held at the Palais de Congress de Paris. We sadly won’t be bringing the drama of your typical Emily in Paris episode but keep reading for your fill of science, more info on ECSS and to learn about some new research projects that Mary and Grace have been involved in beyond the SPRINT project, including Commonwealth Games legacy and statistics education in sport and exercise science-related degrees.

Before we dive into the science, in true Emily in Paris style, there was also opportunity to explore the beautiful and historical city of Paris (including the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Musee de Louvre and more) as well as visiting the location of Emily’s Paris apartment and Gabrielle’s restaurant!


Bring on the science! Are you wondering what ECSS is?

If you are, ECSS stands for the European College of Sports Science and is linked to the European Journal of Sports Science. Each year ECSS hosts a conference bringing together academics from across the world to share research from across the disciplines encompassed within sport and exercise science, including:

  • Biomechanics

  • Pedagogy

  • Physiology

  • Psychology

  • Research Methods

The conference is an excellent opportunity to share your research, learn from others and develop new international networks and welcomes sport and exercise scientists from all career stages. There is also the Young Investigator Award (YIA) and GSSI awards which are excellent opportunities for young researchers to take part in. You can read more on the ECSS website as well as check out this past blog post from when Grace went to ECSS during her PhD and placed equal 5th in the YIA at ECSS Prague 2019.

Hopefully we will see you at ECSS 2024, 2nd-5th July in Glasgow, Scotland, with the theme “Enhancing Health, Performance and Community Sport”.


Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games: Legacy evaluation and creation for local communities

Mary attended ECSS along with her colleagues from an ongoing research project led by Dr Shushu Chen about evaluating the legacy of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games for communities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Their colleague Dr Andy Heyes presented evidence from the qualitative data, which sought to understand the local communities’ views on the Games’ legacy before and after Birmingham hosted this major sporting event.

Whilst in Paris, Mary presented alongside her colleagues Dr Chen, Dr Veldhuijzen van Zanten, and Dr Abdullah Alharbe at the Sorbonne School of Economics (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne). Here, they shared the findings of their research and also heard about legacy plans and progress for the Paris 2024 Olympics Games. You can find out more about the project here.


Investigating the teaching of quantitative data analysis in undergraduate sport and exercise science-related degree programmes in UK universities

Grace attended ECSS and presented work from phase 1 of a project led by Prof. Tony Myers (Newman University, Birmingham) and with colleagues Prof. Grant Abt (University of Hull) and Dr Stuart McErlain-Naylor (Loughborough University), investigating the teaching of quantitative data analysis in undergraduate sport and exercise related degree programmes in UK universities.

We are educating future generations of sport and exercise scientists and beyond on our undergraduate programmes. As the needs of the industries graduates will go onto (sport and beyond), the students themselves, and technology keeps on evolving, it is important to ask, is the education on quantitative data analysis across UK University undergraduate sport and exercise science-related degree programmes keeping pace?

  • 94 academics from 60 UK institutions completed a 29-item Qualtrics questionnaire exploring pedagogy, content, and effectiveness of statistical education.

  • Results suggest that academics in UK institutions are generally taking the well-worn approach to teaching statistics to sport and exercise science undergraduates. This includes sticking to traditional software like SPSS and teaching a narrow range of topics which has a greater focus on the ‘doing’ and is potentially limiting conceptual understanding.

  • Results also suggest that whilst staff perceived statistics education was effective in preparing students for their dissertations, it was perceived less effective in preparing students for employment in industry following completion of their degree.

  • Having greater constructive alignment between academia and industry in the statistics we teach is therefore needed moving forward.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this study is registered on the Open Science Framework which you can access using the links below:


If you’re interested to keep up to date with Mary and Grace’s research projects why not follow them on Twitter, or sign up to our blog below to receive weekly updates on research and events related to the SPRINT Project.


Photo credit: Dr Mary Quinton and Dr Grace Tidmarsh

Written by Dr Grace Tidmarsh and Dr Mary Quinton

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